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National Rescue Dog Day – Ways to Celebrate and Shelter Dog Facts

Are you a dog lover? Then National Dog Rescue Day is for you! This special national day is dedicated to bringing awareness to shelter dogs that need to be adopted.

If you are looking to bring a dog into your family as a pet, adopting from a shelter is the way to go. There are so many wonderful dogs looking for homes, and a family to love them.

National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with.

Be sure to check out my national day’s guide for more fun days to celebrate.

A mixed breed puppy on a brown background with a text overlay for National Rescue Dog Day.

What is National Rescue Dog Day?

National Rescue Dog Day is a day that falls annually on May 20th. Lisa Wiehebrink of Tails That Teach founded this day to bring awareness to shelter dogs that need to be adopted. 

German Shepherd mix dog sitting on the beach with the word "adopted" written in the sand, to celebrate National Rescue Dog Day.

Tails That Teach is a children’s book series based off of a dog named Cooper that was rescued in 2009. He is the main character in the books.

The books aim to teach children how special pets are, and how to be kind, compassionate and gentle with them. 

If you’re a dog lover, you may be interested in knowing there are several national days of the year dedicated to dogs, in addition to National Rescue Dog Day.

They include days like National Golden Retriever Day, International Guide Dog Day, National German Shepherd Day and more!

Shelter dog facts

Brush up on your knowledge of rescue dogs with these shelter dog facts. Some may surprise you!

A dog in a living room with bars across half of his face, so he looks like a shelter dog on one side of the photo, and an adopted dog on the other side of the photo as a symbol of adopting shelter pets on National Rescue Dog Day.

  • There are approximately 3.3 dogs that enter animal shelters in the US every year.
  • Approximately 1.6 millions dogs are adopted from animal shelters in the US every year.
  • Sadly, 670,000 dogs in US shelters are euthanized every year.
  • It is a common misconception that shelter dogs are all old. You can find dogs of all ages in shelters.
  • Adopting a shelter dog is less expensive than getting a dog from a breeder.
  • Not all shelter dogs are “mutts”, 25% of shelter dogs are purebred.

How to celebrate National Rescue Dog Day

Would you like to celebrate National Rescue Dog Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.

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  • If you are able to take on the responsibility of adopting and caring for a pet, use today to adopt a shelter dog!
  • Go to your local animal shelter and see if they are in need of volunteers. 
  • Wear a t-shirt with a message that reminds people of adopting and fostering rescue dogs, like this one.
  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered to help reduce the number of pets surrendered to shelters.
  • Research and donate to charities that provide care to rescue pets.
  • Get a personalized paw print bracelet with your dog’s name on it.
  • If you are in a position to do so, consider fostering dogs. 
  • If you know anyone considering getting a dog, talk to them about the benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter!
  • If you have children, read them one of the Tails That Teach children’s books! They are an integral part of the founding of this national day.
  • Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #NationalRescueDogDay. Here is a tweet to get you started:
Learn more about National Rescue Dog Day - the perfect day to bring awareness to shelter pets. Click to learn interesting shelter dog facts on Always the Holidays. 🐶 🐩 🐕 Share on X

More May 20 national days

Did you enjoy learning about National Rescue Dog Day? Well you’re in luck, May 20 is host to more than just one national day! 

Close up shot of blocks that say May 20 next to a clock on a desk.

Here is a complete list of all the May 20 national days:

  • National Rescue Dog Day
  • National Be a Millionaire Day
  • National Pick Strawberries Day
  • National Quiche Lorraine Day
  • Flower Day
  • Eliza Doolittle Day
  • Weights and Measures Day
  • World Bee Day

More national days in May

There are nearly 2000 national days in the year and more than 150 of them are celebrated in May.

Discover more about the national days in May. If you enjoy puzzles, be sure to check out our free May word search printable of national days.

Close up shot of a May calendar with a plant in the top right corner and a red pen in the bottom right corner.
Is food your thing? Each day of the month has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the May food holidays here.

If you liked this post and want more pet-themed posts, be sure to also check out these national days:

Pin this post on National Rescue Dog Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for National Rescue Dog Day? Just pin this image to one of your trivia boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Watch our video about the May national days video on YouTube.

A woman with her arm around a golden retriever dog on the top of a mountain at sunset with a text overlay for National Rescue Dog Day.

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

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